Welcome back, my fellow travel enthusiasts!
This week, I’d like to share some of the grossest and most disgusting things that has happened to me while traveling. (I apologize in advance if I grossed you out with this post)
This one’s a difficult one to write, because it takes a lot to gross me out. I’m a very laid-back traveler, could eat from a (clean) floor and sleep in a hole if I needed to.
So what in my travels has given me the irks?
My first thoughts came back to the time I had almost died on my motorbike. I thought of the image of how my wounds had infected, pussed, healed, infected- and repeat- for about a week because of my constant activity. Then I thought of how I had witnessed a ping pong show in Thailand, in a “when in Bangkok” night out with my friends. Which after a lot of contemplation, I decided that I did not want to write about because it did not contribute informatively or positively to my blog.
Generally, the easiest way to gross people out is through dirtiness, unfortunate gory events, and food.
Finally, I decided with my specialty. Food.
You see, Southeast Asians are very creative when it comes to food. As a food enthusiast, let me introduce you to some of the grosses foods I’ve encountered while living in Southeast Asia.
I should give a full disclosure that I am vegetarian, and have been vegetarian all my life! I have been exposed to these foods through culture, friends, family, and travel. Take my input with a grain of salt.
Number 1: Balut (Fermented Embryo)
Hailing from the country I was born in, Philippines. Balut, hột vịt lộn, fertilized duck embryo is EGGxactly as it sounds, HA!
You may have heard of this one, or may have even encountered and tried it! Fertilized egg, boiled, and served is one of the most famous strange delicacies in the Philippines and Vietnam.
You can even hear and feel the crunch and slither of the baby duck in your mouth. Ooh!
As you can see from the photo, there is plenty of juice in the egg to have a sip of it to get the full experience. This gem is typically enjoyed with beer. Check out an this guy eating his first balut with locals’ guidance!
Number 2: Tarantula
Tarantula is a famous street delicacy in Cambodia (and I’ve also seen these on Thailand’s streets). They’re usually deep fried, but I’ve also seen them eaten alive before! Spiders were eaten dating back to the Khmer Rouge days, where food were in short supply. Often times, you can still their little tarantula hairs sticking out! I’ve never eaten these (being vegetarian), but they have been described by my friends as “tasting like chicken.”
Number 3: Deep fried insects & grub
One step up (or down?) from tarantulas are all the other critters. Scorpions, crickets, cockroaches, larvae, you name it. I saw hundreds of these vendors on the streets of Bangkok. Often times, with signs saying “pay to take picture.”
Number 4: Libido boosting foods
- Snake Wine
- It turns out that using snakes as medicine can help clear a lot of illnesses. In the case of snake wine, snakes are stuffed and fermented in rice wine until its poison seeps throughout the jar.
- Sounds cruel right? Well, fun fact: in 2013, a snake that has been fermented for 3 months jumped out and bit a woman who had wanted to take a swig of the medicinal wine.
- In all seriousness, stuffing/drowning snakes in a jar is inhumane and illegal- one of the few souvenirs to avoid while on vacation.
- Penises and testicles of deer, snake, bull are believed to provide plenty of energy. There are restaurants upon restaurants dedicated to this wonder of a treatment. Gross.
Number 4: Grass juice
- I first encountered grass juice in Thailand, where everybody was drinking it like it was the elixir of life.
- Only upon research did I find out that there were health benefits to drinking wheat grass.
You may have heard of the telltale infamous/famous Durian.
Personally, I love durian. It’s one of those foods that you just have to get accustomed to! But it’s smell is possibly one of the most pungent in this entire world. It is also very suitable as a weapon (average cause of fatality per year: 1). If you get your hands on it, do try!
Did you try any of these foods? Would you?
I’ve always loved watching Bizzare Foods. These foods makes a great story and challenge. Very mind opening to know there are those who eat like that across the world. It’s not to say that other countries don’t have any crazy cuisines, but Southeast Asia certainly trumps it for me.
That’s all folks!! What did you think? What are some gross travel stories you have?
Thanks for reading! This is a response to the 21 Weeks of Travel Blogging Challenge!
Interested in participating in the Weekly Travel Blogging Challenge? Feel free to make your own today!
Week 1: A favorite travel photo of you and intro
Week 2: Little known tips
Week 3: Funny story
Week 4: Misadventures
Week 5: Top three cultural foods
Week 6: Unusual travel activities/photos
Week 7: Inspiration for traveling
Week 8: Five favorite travel blogs
Week 9: Gross/disgusting stories
Week 10: Best adventures while traveling
Week 11: What’s in your backpack?
Week 12: Happy and sad stories
Week 13: Unique cultures encountered
Week 14: Top three favorite destinations
Week 15: Travel regrets
Week 16: Scary and cool travel stories
Week 17: Things to purge
Week 18: Humbling things learned from traveling
Week 19: Confessions
Week 20: Travel bucket list (countries/activities)
Week 21: Your challenge post highlights and what you’ve learned during this challenge
These awesome people are also doing the challenge!!! Click to see their stories!